About the Author: Ferzana Niazi
Ferzana has a Bachelor's degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She loves to write about science and health. In the future she wants to be a doctor and help individuals in medically underserved areas.
Since the early years of the anthropocene, humankind has heavily relied on various plants to provide effective therapies in treating a myriad of ailments. One common example is obtaining salicylic acid from willow bark, which is the key ingredient in aspirin. Acetic acid chemically reacts with salicylic acid to form aspirin, which is used for pain relief and anti-clotting. Apart from aspirin, this article will introduce you to three plants imperative to good health.Punica granatum, Rhodiola rosea L.,and Althaea officinalis L.are three plants that havegreat benefits to individuals with high blood pressure, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders (Shaygannia et al., 2016). Eachbenefit corresponds to the order of the plants written. These three plants have been traditionally used to soothe pain and discomfort within the body.
Many studies have proven that different parts of the pomegranate lower blood pressure; especially pomegranate juice and seed oil. The antihypertensive effects of pomegranate are very beneficial with individuals who have high blood pressure. Pomegranate seed oil also has an inhibitory effect on various cancers. Pregnant women may find it beneficial to use this plant to alleviate nausea and vomiting (Eltay et al., 2021). There is substantial evidence thatPunica granatumis effective in controlling gingivitis (Safiaghdam et al., 2018). Ellagic acidis the primary component that gives pomegranate its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (Asgary et al., 2017). Photo by Jessica Lynn.
Golden Root, (Rhodiola rosea L.)
Rhodiola rosea L. is also known as the golden root or arctic root. The roots of this medicinal plant (known for its rose-like scent) has a neuroprotective effect that can help treat neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (Nabavi et al., 2016). Rhodiola rosea L.can also aid in the treatment of fatigue,headaches, and depression (Jurica & Koupa, 2016). Not only that, but the golden root has many healing properties; such as boosting immunity and DNA repair (Li et al., 2018). Further studies should investigate how this plant aids in the treatment of various cancers. Rhodiola rosea L. holds the most promise in the treatment of urinary bladder cancer. Photo via svalbardflora.no.
Marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis L.)
Althaea officinalis L. is a white flowering plant indigenous to Europe. There is substantial evidence thatAlthaea officinalis L. improves dry cough (Mahboubi, 2021). Studies with rats demonstrate Marsh mallow aiding in wound healing (Mohsenikia et al., 2020). This plant also exhibits antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects (Rezaei et al., 2015). A study using cold and warm compresses showed improvement in breast engorgement in lactating females (Khosravan et al., 2017). Althaea officinalis L. is promising in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease; such studies have illustrated the plant’s neuroprotective mechanisms. For instance, one study demonstrated how this plant protected the neurons of substantia nigra pars compacta against toxicity. Substantia nigra pars compacta is a cluster of dopaminergic neurons found in the human midbrain responsible for dopamine activity. In Parkinson’s disease, large numbers of neurons in the substantia nigra are damaged; which in turn decreases dopamine levels substantially. This in turn impairs balance, movement, along with other motor symptoms seen in Parkinson’s disease (Rezaei & Alirezaei, 2014).Marsh mallow, pomegranates, and golden root are just three of the thousands of plants with health benefits. Researching peer-reviewed articles and studies about plants with medicinal values is valuable as knowledge of these natural resources can help soothe ailments such as coughs and fatigue. Precaution towards excessive consumption should be practiced as toxicity levels vary throughout species and conditions.